Public Sector Unions: How did it get to this?

Unions I have been told my entire life have been on the wane. This I have also been told my entire life is a bad thing. I suppose in some ways it might be, but on the whole I would say it’s a very good thing for nearly everyone that private union power has diminished.

There is however an area of the economy that has increasingly become unionized in my lifetime, and that is the public sector. According to some estimates over 50% of unionized workers in America are government workers.

This growth has put enormous burdens upon the taxpayer as politicians have sought to placate the unions with lavish benefits packages. Sometimes even that is not enough, as we see in Chicago right now.

How on earth did we get to a place where teachers who make on average $76,000/year with massive benefits turn down a deal which would increase their pay by 16% over 4 years—in the middle of a deep recession/depression?

Paul Moreno of Hillsdale College explains in this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.